Thursday, November 25, 2010

Honda S2000 Engine Tuning

Honda S2000 Engine Tuning
Honda S2000 Engine Tuning

The S2000 proved to be something different right from the start. It was a two-seater convertible built by a company mostly familiar with coupes and sedans. Its engine was odd too. Initially it came with 2.0 liters of displacement, twin cams, and a 9,000rpm powerband, yet Honda labeled it an F-series, which up until this time meant 2.2 liters of displacement, the absence of a second camshaft, and not a whole lot going on past 7,000 rpm. No, the F20C clearly had no more in common with the rest of the F camp than the name but instead foreshadowed Honda's upcoming four-cylinder hero: the K-series. Go figure.

Arguing with 240 hp protected under a three-year warranty is difficult, which is why most don't, but those who aren't afraid to mess with a good thing understand that there's a little something left behind that 240hp rating-you've just got to dig for it. Unlike the K-series, the F20C and F22C have been tough nuts to crack. Bolt-ons don't seem to add much. Headers generally yield 10-12hp gains, cold-air intakes, and exhaust systems less than that. And combinations of the three? Let's just say nobody's shattering any horsepower per dollar records when it comes to the S2000.

So what gives? Why is generating an extra 10 percent out of this F-series so difficult? It all comes down to everything Honda engineers did to get that much power in the first place. The years the engineers spent earning their stripes at the racetrack resulted in nothing short of a race car built for the street. What average tuners think should work usually doesn't and, since last time we checked, there aren't any retired Honda F1 guys hanging around the local tuner shops to help figure things out.

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